A Will, an Opportunity for Study, and a Proposal

 

Last week, Linda Dennery and Meg Levin, our faithful New York Region correspondents, passed along three Austen-related items. The first is a story about, and a link to, Austen’s will; the second, an announcement of a summer course on Mansfield Park and Persuasion at Cornell University; and the third, a real-life marriage proposal with an Austen theme.

While Dennery and Levin caution that you might need a subscription to the Mail Online’s website to read the newspaper story, we had no trouble accessing the link without said subscription. Your experience may differ, of course. As an alternate source, Dennery and Levin have provided a link to the UK’s National Archive, which posted Austen’s will online on Epiphany (Jan. 6).

Of interest in the story is the note by the Mail’s reporter that Austen’s estate, valued at some £800 at her death, would be worth about £27,000, or approx. $45,000, today.

At Cornell, senior lecturer David Faulkner’s July 6–12 adult-education course, “Half Agony Half Hope: Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion,” explores the “radically vulnerable” positions in which Fanny and Anne find themselves, not only bereft of parental care and protection, but also, essentially, homeless and in search of identity in a hostile world.

Of the third item supplied by Dennery and Levin, we will say … well, we’ll let you peruse it yourself.